23 Jan 2015

January 23, 2015

    Official sunrise was at 07:59 on Thursday, January 22, 2015.  Sunset was at 16:48.

   By 10:30 Hours on Thursday the sun was trying to poke through the cloud.

    There were some nice breaks in the afternoon, but it was certainly a mostly cloudy day.

    There were some sunny breaks in the afternoon, and some decent light in the morning.

   A very large sucker hole did go through in the afternoon.

Weather Observations for January 23, 2015; taken at 06:00 Hours.

2240 meters          0, Winds were 45-65 KPH from the SSE
2180 meters          0, Winds were 40-50 KPH from the S
1860 meters        +1, Winds were 25-45 KPH from the SSE
1835 meters        +2, Winds were 20-35 KPH from the SSE
1650 meters        +3, No new new snow, Base 149 cm
1550 meters        +1, No new new snow, Base 122 cm,  Relative Humidity 100%.
  660 meters        +1, Valley Temp, Max Temp Yest +4.2, 4.3 mm of precip before Midnight yest.

   As of 7:00 Hours we have overcast skies, variable visibility and raining lightly.

For the forecast, the warm front in a Westerly flow is bringing light to moderate precipitation amounts to the area with a freezing level just above the local peaks, possibly going to 2700 meters today but decending to 2500 meters by Saturday. The front will stall over the area this evening with moderate to heavy precipitation rates. On Saturday the front begins to move North with light precipitation amounts during the day. The High pressure should shift the front out of the area by Sunday afternoon bringing unsettled conditions. Monday at this time is looking sunny but the air mass will remain warm and freezing levels will be well above the highest peaks in our area. Tuesday will likely see a weak cold front pass through with the freezing level dropping to 1200 meters by the evening and some light snowfall. Wednesday is forecasted to be unsettled as the ridge begins to rebuild. Models are not lined up, but we may get ridging for later next week into the weekend. The good news is that this event will not be a true atmospheric river and just a pineapple express. Precipitation amounts will hopefully be way less than expected as some of the energy gets forced to the North and the clouds have given the West Coast of Vancouver Island the majority of the moisture.  Guesstimates 30 mm of rain by Saturday morning, 10-15 mm of rain by Sunday morning.

    As of 16:00 Hours yesterday, the storm was just hitting the coast of Vancouver Island.

    Certainly looking juicy from image yesterday late in the afternoon.

    Front pushing through this morning, then stalling this evening.

    Westerly flow with a warm front and moderate winds.

   The front will stall tonight with heavy rain, but the amounts are looking less than forecasted Yesterday.

    A southerly flow on Saturday as the warm front shifts to the North. Moderate rate in morning -> light.

    Very light precipitation Sunday morning, unsettled by the afternoon.

   Sunday afternoon the high builds into Monday with a sunny day.


Just another run: Candide Thovex

Freeride World Tour Starts Today: Chamonix, France

Backcountry Basics--Practicing with your Avalanche Transceiver: Backcountry.com

Flying into a Hurricane: Stormchasers

Volcan de Colimas blows its top: January 21, 2015 at 09:14 Hours


An Avalanche on the Vallee Blanche: Pistehors.com

Avalanche Awareness for snowshoers: Snowshoe Magazine

Safety takes top priority at Outdoor Retailer Show: Salt lake City, Utah

Update on the weak El Nino Year: NOAA

Avalanche-Survival story, Buried opens Whistler Mountain Story Series: Vancouver Sun

Observations and Pictures from Jeff Van Driel:

Hi Wango,

We were skitouring in the Joffre lakes area to the summit of tszil via the glacier, skiing a line off the SW side and back up to the tszil/Taylor col and back down and out the lakes. 
We had sky conditions from obscured to scattered with valley fog, temps around -1, westerly light winds and a trace of precip. 
HS was 250cm at 1850m and over 320cm at 2150m on the glacier. Winds from Sunday affected areas exposed to the wind to produce hard windslab, sastrugi and scouring to the crust. Protected areas still have 25cm of fist snow over the crust. In areas with windslab, we found 60cm sitting on the 5cm thick crust. We had a CTH 21 sudden planar result on this layer. No results on SW aspect with cornice testing. No new natural avalanches observed. Some pinwheeling on steep solar aspects. 
The best skiing appears to be lower angle slopes in protected areas around treeline. I saw less wind affect in the alpine on chief pascal on tuesday and even less in Ure and Gravel creek on Monday. I believe all were affected a little differently by the winds on Sunday. 
Jeff Van Driel

                                                                                                                                                            Jeff Van Driel Image

                                                                                                                 Jeff Van Driel Image

                                                                                                                                  Jeff Van Driel Image

    Yesterday there were multiple cloud layers. Stratus layer in valley and upper at around 1900 meters.

    Fresh snow on Thursday morning to the valley. 2 cm recorded at 1550m, and 4 cm at 1650m. 

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